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Genetically modified crops - Do we know all the answers?

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Genetically Modified Crops. Do we know all the answers? Genetic Modification is the method of obtaining individual genes, which are then copied and repositioned into another living organism to modify its genetic code and incorporating or removing particular characteristics into or from an organism.1 There are many viewpoints on the issue genetic modification, some scientifically based on environmental factors and potential economic growth, others concerning ethical, moral and social perspectives. Ever since the breakthrough of genetic modification, deliberation has surrounded all issues involving this controversial topic. Many organizations have published books, videos, and leaflets arguing their side of this debate. Advances in GM biotechnology, such as the incorporation of the gene which stops the Arctic Flounder from freezing, has been placed into the genetic sequence of strawberries to stop them shrivelling in the cold British weather2, these 'modifications' have led to many intrinsic and extrinsic moral issues arising from this "new" technology. Dr Robert Farley of the Monsanto Institute, USA3 believes that genetic modification of crops for human consumption is a much more efficient and effective way of creating more resilient wheat crops than traditional cross-pollination. ...read more.


He suggests that changing the composition of crops to give them better attributes leads to problems in other parts of the global ecosystem. The enhancement of soya crops, by giving them better nutrition from brazil nuts led to a problem with nut allergy suffers contracting an allergy from the genetically modified soya. This problem led to a setback in the demand for GM soya. The publication by the 'Food and Drink Federation (FDF)' entitled "GM Crops & the Environment" stated the benefits and risks of genetically modifying world food crops. Where scientists can improve by copying information from one organism to another, there is no superior means of improving the traits of animals and plants than by natural reproduction.6 Although, throughout the world, there were 27 million hectares of GM produced crops in 1998, only 11 countries were part of this GM crop manufacture, of these countries, the US were the main producers at 20.5 million hectares followed by Argentina and Canada7. The UK was not one of these countries mentioned. However, GM crops are grown in the UK, although not on a commercial scale. ...read more.


Although, staying with traditional processes may lead to major effects of the animal and plants kingdoms because of concentrated, regular use of crop maintenance with chemicals to reduce pests and weeds, along with 'over-feeding' of plants to produce greater yields. GM technology Overall, I can believe that genetic modification and other form of new biotechnology, although should have continued research implemented on these 'new areas' of science, we should always be weary of our ability to change to basic structure of life on this planet. We should always be aware of consequences, both beneficial and damaging. Whether or not we decide to continue with GM technology in the future. We should not allow ourselves to take only advantageous measures from our newfound knowledge. There must be a limit to modification of genes, if we use our technology without foresight, there will come a point where the disadvantages of our GM technology will far outweigh the advantages. We must seek to understand the possibly irreversible consequences of our actions, and the fundamental way in which organisms interact with each other; the way we are altering the natural course of evolutionary patterns. ...read more.

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Response to the question

Response to the question is done very well. The candidate considers a range of viewpoints around the topic in question, although the topic could be more focused on topics including moral and social issues of the GM crops, such as ...

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Response to the question

Response to the question is done very well. The candidate considers a range of viewpoints around the topic in question, although the topic could be more focused on topics including moral and social issues of the GM crops, such as humans playing God. The conclusion is done well, and takes into account the things that have been discussed. Sources are included in a footnote which is good to see.

Level of analysis

Genetic modification is defined well, but the actual technique of removing the genes should be displayed in a picture format so the definition is clearer. The introduction is done well setting out the different viewpoints that they will discuss. They give examples of how genetic modification is used, and provides a balanced view on the negatives and positives of genetically modified crops. A wide range of analysis is used and the analysis and tone of the essay is to a very high level.

Quality of writing

Minor spelling and grammatical errors in places. Otherwise, spelling, grammar and punctuation are to a good level.

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Reviewed by skatealexia 15/08/2012

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